I have never put any of my kids in an afterschool program, partly because between therapy and sports, my kids are overscheduled enough; partly because after six hours of school my kids are pretty much done; and partly because some of my kids who need a paraeducator to get through the day might not do so well all by themselves in an afterschool class.
But then came Lego Motherfucking Robotics. (I think the people who offer the class leave out its middle name, but I like to use the full version.)
Planets aligned to make this class fall into our schedule perfectly and Jack wanted to do it, so I crossed my fingers, marked an X in the box on the registration form after “special needs,” and sent in a check. I figured that if there were ever an afterschool class for Jack to be successful in, it would be this one, because…Legos…and robots.
Sam practices soccer once a week with the son of the woman who coordinates the afterschool programs for the PTA. (Did you follow that?) One day at practice, we spent a long time discussing the class, what happens during it, how to deal with any problems if they arise, how Jack is likely to react to the class and working with a partner, and by the way, Jean, just calm the hell down.
Yesterday was the day. Jack made it to the classroom just fine and because one kid didn’t show up, the woman from the paragraph above suggested that he be able to work alone this week. I ran into her in the hall when I was picking up Quinn and she said to me, “He is in his glory. In his glory.”
I’m sorry, I need a minute. *fans eyes*
At pick up time, I found Jack with his Lego creation hooked up to his computer. He didn’t even notice that I arrived.
Shortly after I took this photo, one of the class leaders—of which there were THREE—told the kids to clean up. Jack completely ignored her. I started trying to coax him into listening, when they told me to let them handle it. I walked away and two minutes later, Jack had happily complied with her instructions.
I mean, probably if anyone has experience dealing with kids like Jack, it is someone who teaches a Lego (Motherfucking) Robotics class, but I was impressed. And happy. And Jack was happy. And all was right with the world.
Also, just so you know, today a squirrel ran right in front of my car wheels. I thought he was a goner. I braked, but managed to NOT crash my car. Also, the squirrel survived. It was, I feel, a perfectly appropriate response to an ordinary situation.